Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm Not from Albany, because My Cats are Fixed.

Day of Rest today. I'm worn out and have a cold and I just didn't do diddley squat today. I did return the little gray tabby female to the Corvallis colony. She was fixed yesterday. That woman's husband says all the cats need to go to homes. Funny how a family can allow cats to breed like all get out then suddenly one member decides "they all must go". After all, now they're all fixed, except for some small kittens. And they didn't have to pay a dime to get that done either. Or put out any labor themselves.

I ran into D today, at Winco. She's a Sweet Home cat fixer/rescuer. She says she's quitting it, retiring, fed up. I can't blame her. She says she's sacrificed her life to the people of Lebanon and Sweet Home, to help their cats, and what is there to show for it?

She says the same people they have helped, they have to help over and over. They get more cats, or move, abandon their cats that KAT fixed for them, then get more unfixed cats. Then, she went on, obviously bitter, that they demand that when they return their own cat, that KAT has paid to get fixed, and transported to and from the vet for surgery, that they bring them cat food, too. I know this is how it is.

You keep thinking people will wake up, get a sense of right and wrong, of decency, but it never happens.

D states outright what others think. She says until you start spaying and neutering the ignorant people of Linn County, so they don't reproduce their values in their offspring, it will stay the same and get worse for the animals of Linn County.

I grinned at her. Not much else you can do. She's worn out by it all and fed up. I'd love to scream at them for her. Some pay back for the pain they've caused the cats and the cat women.

"I'm old," she said. "I've sacrificed my time with my grandchildren, my money---everything, and we've been at this ten years. Still, people call by the dozen, everyday, wanting us to take their kittens. And we know, if we don't take them, those people will dump them or throw them out to die somewhere. It never changes in Sweet Home and in Lebanon, the attitudes, the "give me or else" mentality, the lack of personal integrity and responsibility. So I'm retiring," she said again, with conviction.

All I could do was sympathize with her and tell her she's right to retire and that it's sad that the animals are the victims of these attitudes around here.

It's not like I don't feel the same way. I'd like to shake these people, shake open their hearts, wake them up, but how do you do that? People value stuff around here--pickups, beer, drugs, car racing, cigarettes, sex, football games......but apparently not so much life, nor integrity, nor responsibility....they've not been raised that way I guess.....not the people we meet....I know how she feels. I'd like to run away myself, far away, to some mythical place that seems like a gentle breeze in my mind---to Paradise.

In the meantime, I would love to find a way to draw attention to the unbelievable sacrifices made by the cat women of Linn County. We, as volunteers, are never recognized or given any credit for our work. That isn't right. The cat people are the most sacrificing of all the volunteers. And we improve communities, livability, even property values. We are environmental warriors also, reducing the impact of overpopulation on the environment. We are also abused routinely, yelled at, made fun of, used and abused. We deserve some recognition for the work we do.

Some man, who might volunteer a couple days a month, to coach a ball team, gets more recognition. Sad.

Well, anyhow.

I've been in the assessment stage today. I've been thinking about my future, living here alone in Albany, Oregon, the city of unfixed cats. I think it's like Capital of the unfixed cat world. It's hard living here.

I don't want to live here. I'm hoping my brother will sell this house soon, but the housing market fell out, so I don't know if he could even try to sell it.

Also, I no longer have a doctor. This feels to me kind of insecure, which is whiney I suppose, since so many people don't even have the option to see a doctor because they don't have insurance. I have some medical issues, primarily, pain, associated with some spinal cord metal plates. I don't do anything about my pain, other than cope with it, but I have a doctor who knows I have pain, and why, and what happened to cause these injuries. Had a doctor, is a more accurate way to say it. He took a job in the mid west. He's gone.

I also felt better knowing that my doctor knew me before and after I left the mental health system. He knew what I went through in the system, the abuse, the forced drugging, and he totally 100% backed me leaving it. He believed in me. That was nice to have. So it's a loss not to have that.

The clinic where he worked claimed that I would automatically be transferred to a replacement, when and if they found and hired one. They said, in the letter, I would be notified, to do nothing at this time, and if I have an acute (emergency) health issue, I could see an on call doctor at same Samaritan Health clinic.

Well that isn't much of a reassurance. It's been a month since I got the letter and so far I have not been informed that they have found a replacement. As for seeing an on call person at that clinic for an emergency health issue, I'd probably never do that.

I suppose they're having trouble finding someone to hire. I mean if I were smart and well educated, I wouldn't want to move to the mid valley. It's barren. I know it, and I'm not even that smart. Barren of intelligent entertainment or thought provoking speeches and lectures and events. Barren unless you like road or mountain biking, which I know is big in the professional crowd.

I suppose not having a doctor also kind of takes the pressure off. It's like the pioneer days, you do for yourself and die hard in the end, which we all do anyhow in the end. I don't know why that seems to feel like pressure off to me, like I don't have to get this diagnostic test every year or that one, too, because I can't now, without a doctor, and this feels like pressure off me, for some reason.

Well anyhow, I don't know where I'd like to move. I no longer have a sense of belonging anywhere. I don't claim Albany. In fact I routinely lie, if someone asks where I'm from.

It's just different here is all. Very different.

I do my cat and human food shopping mostly in Salem. At Winco there. I buzz up after dropping cats at the Jefferson clinic. It's only about ten minutes from there. There is not one thing I get in Albany.

The good thing about living here is I'm closer to my work. There are unfixed cats everywhere, right in Albany. And the drive to the clinic is literally ten minutes. Much less driving now that I live here. But I also get a whole lot less exercise. There is just nowhere nice to walk for exercise, like there was in Corvallis, or even for a getaway, which also gives you exercise. So it's much harder to force myself to walk here, when it's not pleasant to walk here.

Riding a bike is suicide in many places but especially here. I almost got creamed the first time I went out, by a pickup, full of young men, who seemed to have deliberately come as close to me as possible. Then they also yelled vulgar insults at me. I've not been out on my bike again since. I can't get up the nerve, and it's not a pleasant thought, to go out on my bike again here.

I'm trying to figure out something, that I'll enjoy, won't dread, because I need to get exercise. I'm not a pool swimmer. I love to swim but chlorine and I don't mix. One exposure will irritate my eyes and skin very badly. I wish it didn't, because I love to swim. My swimming has been limited to summer, when I can frequent lakes and rivers.

I'm not from Albany, that's for sure. You can tell that because my cats are fixed.

1 comment :

  1. Hi, I read your blog and I was touched by it. I moved here from North Carolina 2 years ago, I now live here in Albany. I never knew their is so many stray cats. I have one cat and he is fixed and is an indoor kitty. I agree with you about the attitudes of the people here they are very irresponsible. What kind of supplies are you needing? Sheila